Fishing or angling, to take it by it’s serious name, is one of the biggest hobbies/sports in the UK, and during the Lockdown period of 2020 it was the first sport to be allowed back into common usage. People like fishing simply because it’s great for all levels and ages and attracts a male and female audience. It’s both a wonderful way to enjoy nature and spend quality time with friends and family members, and let your hair down after a hard days/weeks/months/ work. Myself, although not a great fisherman, Im more a rest and relax guy, used to meet up with a buddy from school every year, going somewhere different each time and having a fishing adventure. Along the way others would get invited and it became even more enjoyable, that once a year trip to be care free for a weekend.
Fishing began over 40,000 years ago, not as a sport but as a serious means of sourcing food, fish and eat the catch. As today, people would fish in both freshwater and saltwater locations. Around 2000 BC fishing became a sport, to date I have not been able to ascertain why it would have been seen as sport rather than food at that time.
Although some of the equipment has improved over the years fundamentally anglers must find stalk their catch and lure them in. There are people that seem to have a natural ability at doing this, many of my friends read the water and catch all the time. Me, I just love to bait up, with a float and get the rod in the water and sit back and relax. I suppose for me, there is a fear of catching a fish and having to deal wth it and let it go. My first experience fishing was with my brother at Yalding Locks in Kent, we would spend the whole weekend out and Id not catch anything, which didn’t bother me too much. Though I must confess, when the float bobs, nothing beats that sense of excitement.
These days people go fishing for many reasons:
1) There is no doubt it is a great stress reliever, fishing is an excellent way to sit back and take stock of life. It forces you to slow down and take in the world. Being outdoors and bonding with nature and other people makes stress melt away. During lockdown, people have come to see the value in slowing down and taking in the world. This time has been invaluable and maybe many more people will see the value in fishing because of it.
2) It’s so good for both your physical and mental health. Along with being an excellent stress reliever, fishing can be meditative and a great way to unwind and relax. Because fishing is an outdoor activity, anglers are exposed to mood-improving sunshine thereby minimising SAD syndrome and they are more likely to get physical activity.
3) It promotes friendship. Fishing isn’t always a solo sport, anglers often enjoy socialising as I mentioned previously, personally Iv made many friends that have stood over many years from fishing. Plus, fishing is a great activity for families and groups of friends.
4) Fishing is simply an enjoyable hobby. It’s a break from reality, a reason to sit back and forget your troubles. Reeling in a big catch is exciting (for many)! Lots of people fish solely for the thrill of it.
5) Fishing is a fantastic hobby for people of all ages. Parents and grandparents can teach children new skills that will carry over into adulthood.
What Type of Fishing are you into?
Whether it’s a lake, pond, stream, or river, you will certainly have a freshwater location nearby.
Perfect for beginners, freshwater fishing requires very little equipment and can be enjoyed from land without getting wet. Whilst you may choose to fish on land or from the shore, you could also fish by boat or from a bridge or indeed, some very obscure location that will bring you the best catch (see my note previously about stalker hunter friends who scout their position, it isn’t always a comfy spot either).
From the shore or from boat, sea fishing can be great for beginners. I was taken sea fishing off the coast of Dungeness, I have to say, it was thrilling, an 80lb breaking strain line and I hooked a cod, that bugger nearly took my arms out, and after a big fight and getting him in to being able to see him, he looked at me and snapped the line. My one that got away story.
Depending on the fish you intend to catch, you’ll need specialist equipment, so it’s best to consult a professional before venturing out. Fishing from the beach is an excellent option for first-timers. The species of fish you can catch are virtually endless. You can catch fish from virtually any shore and each time something comes out the water it will look different.
Check with a local fisherman to find out what types of fish are biting in your area. This will help you decide what type of bait to pick up.
You can spend as much or as little as you like on fishing equipment, the list is endless, so is the carrying. You will need a license to fish, and there are strict behaviours you are expected to follow when you are fishing along with each specific set of rules for each place that you fish. When I started the weights used in freshwater were split lead, that is a big No No now. So make sure you know the basics before you head out.
Iv seen the wrapping paper for the fisherman in your life, pretty blooming boring if you ask me. That’s why Iv added it to the list of sports for full personalisation. Iv started your creativity off with a few ideas, but why not use your own pictures, come up with your own words. Give them the full treatment, and as anglers, they will appreciate the effort. You can get to the fishing wrapping paper section by clicking here or on the picture above.